review first posted at A Writer Goes On A Journey
Gaunt's Ghost 13
ISBN (UK) 97881844168200
ISBN (US) 9781844168217
The Tanith First-And-Only embark upon a desperate mission that could decide the fate of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade in the thirteenth book this popular Imperial Guard series. The Ghosts of the Tanith First-And-Only have been away from the front line for too long, listless and hungry for action. But the proposed raid on the mysterious Salvation's Reach is so hazardous, it's regarded as a suicide mission. Haunted by spectres from the past and stalked by the Archenemy, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his Ghosts embark on upon what could be their finest hour... or the final mission.
Dan Abnett is widely regarded as one of the best military sci fi writers in the world today. And I agree.
The release of another novel in the Gaunt's Ghosts series is a reason to settle down with a cuppa in a comfy chair and get lost in the universe of the 41st Millennium.
In terms of the military action, Salvation's Reach is every bit as crisply written as its predecessors. Plenty is happening by the reader is drawn along without any difficulty.
Ibram Gaunt continues to be the hard-bitten warrior and leader, fighting in the continuing Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Fans of Gaunt will no doubt enjoy this next instalment.
I was however puzzled by some things. By the time I had reached the end, Gaunt and his men had fought their way across a couple of battles with the survivors mourning the loss of their fallen comrades. And I was left with a disquieting sense of 'so what?' A number of elements were introduced into the story that by story's end, had not seemed to drive the plot forward in any real way. While these will no doubt play a role in future instalments, I felt the story arc would have been stronger for bringing these out more in this particular instalment.
For a nobody like me to be seen to be criticising someone with the credentials and success of Dan Abnett, probably seems the height of arrogance. I certainly didn't dislike the novel and generally enjoyed reading it. But at the same time I have a guilty sense of being a school teacher writing 'can do better' on a report card.